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ICBC's Safe Cycling Tips
Thursday, May 8, 2014
The beginning of the cycling season is a good time to tune up your bike. Perform regular maintenance and safety checks yourself or take your bike to a qualified bike mechanic to prevent mechanical breakdown.
Plan your route before you set off, give yourself plenty of time and choose bike lanes and paths whenever possible. If you’re new to cycling, choose routes with less traffic.
With varying weather at this time of year, it’s important to plan for the conditions you may encounter. This means having reflective gear and lights in case they become necessary. When riding at dusk, dawn or at night, your bike must be equipped with a white headlight visible at 150 metres and a rear red light and reflector visible at 100 metres but consider adding more lights to be even more visible
It’s illegal to cycle on sidewalks or in crosswalks. It puts pedestrians in danger and drivers don’t expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk.
When turning, shoulder check well in advance, hand signal and then with both hands on the handle bars, shoulder check again before turning.
Watch for vehicles entering the roadway from laneways and parking lots.
Always wear a helmet – it’s the law in B.C. Make sure you use an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards and periodically inspect it for signs of wear.
Cyclists must always follow the rules of the road just like any other vehicle. Cycle in a straight line, avoid weaving and try to be as predictable as possible.
When riding on shared paths, ride on the right hand side to ensure the safety of all cyclists and pedestrians.
Be aware of what’s going on around you at all times and keep an eye on the road well ahead for hazards like potholes, gravel, glass and drainage grates.
Ride at least one metre away from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by an opening door or a vehicle pulling into your lane from the curb. Be extra cautious if you notice someone in the vehicle.
When you’re driving, actively watch for cyclists on the road. Make eye contact with cyclists whenever possible to let them know you have seen them.
If you’re entering the roadway from a laneway or parking lot, always scan for cyclists and other road users.
Drivers must shoulder check to look for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left.
If you need to cross a bike lane to turn right or to pull to the side of the road, signal well in advance and yield to cyclists.
Cyclists may need to react quickly and unexpectedly to avoid hazards on the road so as a driver, it’s important to leave at least three seconds of following distance.
Don’t honk your horn at a cyclist unless you need to give them a warning. A loud honk could startle them or even cause them to fall.
As a driver, before you or one of your passengers open a vehicle door, check for oncoming cyclists. You also need to shoulder check for cyclists before you pull away from a curb.